Bruins: What’s eating Tyler Seguin?
The Boston Bruins getting off to their best start in franchise history through 11 games (8-1-2) has certainly masked a couple serious issues: everyone rightfully bashes their awful power play (4-for-43, 9.1 percent; 28th in NHL) but very few people have seemed to notice that Tyler Seguin, their best offensive player and top scorer last season (29 goals, 38 assists), is off to a pretty slow start (2 goals, 4 assists) by his rising standards.
The tough part is figuring out why the third-year winger has struggled so much. The other five forwards on Boston’s top two lines all have more points than him, led by David Krejci (4 goals, 7 assists). Seguin’s paltry goal total comes with an asterisk too since one was an empty-netter at Carolina on Jan.28. Other than that, his lone strike was a power play goal on Feb. 6 at Montreal. It seems like one of the directions Claude Julien may go in to get Seguin going offensively and perhaps solve some of the power play woes is to give him more ice time there over less talented offensive players like Chris Bourque or Gregory Campbell to name a few.
Of course, it isn’t all doom and gloom as he leads the team in plus/minus with a plus-8. But the most troubling part about Seguin’s start is that he’s collected his points in only four games, which means that he’s already had seven games of zero goals and zero assists. Conditioning shouldn’t be an issue (hello, he’s 21) since he was tearing it up in Switzerland (reportedly off the ice as well) during the NHL lockout.
There is the theory that the bigger rinks that he played in there has been a factor and that there is a period of adjustment. But if you’re playing well, it typically doesn’t matter what country or league you are participating in.
The good news for Seguin is that the B’s are so deep that he can go through a rough patch like this and not really get hounded over it. That wouldn’t be the case if he was on a bad team (say Buffalo) where he would be the main guy and scapegoat when things weren’t going well. He’s second on Boston in shots on goal with 34 but 10th on the team in shooting percentage (5.9). Needless to say, there is no way that he is stuck there at the end of the season.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate